President Donald Trump told reporters last week that he is “very strongly” considering commuting the prison sentence of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich is currently in federal prison in Littleton, Colorado, where he has served seven and a half years of his 14 year sentence.
Multiple sources have said that the President’s decision on Blagojevich’s fate could come down as early as Monday, according to KDVR-TV. The station also delivered new video of Blagojevich strolling in a prison yard like a shirtless Andy Dufresne (“he strolled like a man in a park . . .”).
Blagojevich, who was previously a contestant on Trump’s NBC television show “Celebrity Apprentice,” was convicted on multiple corruption charges for attempting to use his political office for financial gain by auctioning off the Senate seat formerly held by Barack Obama after Obama won the presidency.
Speaking to journalists from Air Force One, Trump said Blagojevich was not treated fairly by the justice system.
“His wife I think is fantastic and I’m thinking about commuting his sentence very strongly. I think it’s enough, seven years,” Trump said during the flight.
“A man who is a Democrat, not a Republican—who I don’t know very well, but he was on ‘The Apprentice’ . . . I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly. And a lot of people thought it was unfair, like a lot of other things — and it was the same gang, the Comey gang and all these sleazebags that did it . . . and I’m thinking about commuting his sentence,” Trump told reporters.
The President also Tweeted about the topic last Thursday, writing: “Rod Blagojevich, the former Governor of Illinois, was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He has served 7 years. Many people have asked that I study the possibility of commuting his sentence in that it was a very severe one. White House staff is continuing the review of this matter.”
According to Maggie Haberman of the New York Times, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner began promoting the idea of pardoning Blagojevich a few months ago as a move that would appeal to Democrats before the 2020 election.
[Image via KDVR-TV screen grab.]